Mushrooms are an integrative part of maintaining nature's ecosystems. They connect miles upon miles of forest floors and create a network of communication between trees and plants underground. You may wonder how, when they are so small and fragile and just have a stem and a little cap. Well just like trees have extensive roots, so do mushrooms. In fact, what you
associate as a mushroom is actually just the reproductive body, below the mushroom is a vast network of Mycellium. Mycellium are fast growing fibers that are the vegetative body for fungi. Some types of Mycellium don't produce mushrooms at all. Mother trees send nutrients to their offspring and maintain communication with their kin through Mycellium's vast network, this is a beautiful symbiotic relationship between the fungi and plant world.
We see a similar symbiotic relationship between humans and the fungi world throughout history. For thousands of years we have been using mushrooms for their medicinal properties. Some have cancer fighting properties (turkey tail mushrooms), while others help strengthen the immune system, the nervous system, and even enhance focus and memory.
There are many different kinds of mushrooms with medicinal properties, today, we will be referring to Psychedelic mushrooms specifically. Psychedelic Mushrooms are an integral part of many traditional ceremonies all over the world. They are used for mental and emotional healing, and for building connection to the self and the universe. Currently, these therapies are being researched and applied for treatment of mental disorders such as PTSD, Depression, addiction, anxiety and more.
"After centuries of aggressive colonial suppression most recently manifested in the US-led “war on drugs”, psilocybin has reemerged outside of its traditional indigenous contexts, as a therapeutic agent to treat mental illness and enhance well-being." 1
You may be familiar with the typical mushroom trip story of hallucinations and synesthesia - when you see sound and hear color. These trips are caused by consuming large amounts of psychedelic mushrooms and it is known as macrodosing. This is not what you will experience with a microdose. A microdose technically is meant to be unnoticeable or unperceivable. This however, depends on many factors, such as a persons individual tolerance, metabolism, self awareness, sensitivity, the type of mushroom, the way of consumption and of course the dose. So in most cases, but not all, the individual will feel something, but not have impairment to their cognitive function.
"Improvements in mood, emotional well-being and cognition have been reported among the top motivations for microdosing, and several cross-sectional studies have identified associations between microdosing and perceived improvements in mood and cognitive functioning reductions in stress, depression and anxiety" 1
Microdosing is a self administered process that varies from person to person. There are several protocols you can follow with doses between 0.2 - 0.7 grams depending on the individual's sensitivity. The type of mushroom also matters and some will have more psilocybin content than others. Psilocybin is the active component that give pschedelic mushrooms their psychoactive properties. For that reason is good to start with milder mushrooms and then experiment with the stronger types.
Figuring out why it is that an individual wants or needs to microdose is also very important. This is called an intention. For example, an individual may want to microdose to reduce anxiety and fear. This is very important to figure out before microdosing begins because it will guide the healing at a subconscious level. Psychedelics give access to parts of the subconscious mind, specifically, the primary state of consciousness, which is not accessible by the normal waking
consciousness, also known as the secondary consciousness. The brain protects the person from painful memories by creating a "barrier" that is not accessible to the waking conscious mind. Especially when it comes to trauma or painful experiences, because in order to be a functioning individual, one cannot be dwelling on past traumas, so as a defense mechanism, the brain burries these memories deep in the subconscious. This is why it is important to have an intention and realize that by microdosing you are opening the door to explore the subconscious and release repressed memories and emotions that the body and mind have been holding on to.
Psychedelics are not the only way to access this part of the mind. The subconscious can also be accessed with meditation, breath-work and yoga. Even better if all four are used together. Emotions and repressed memories are now accessible to the waking consciousness and the individual needs to be ready to process and let go of these painful memories and emotions in order to reprogram their nervous system, thought patterns and behavior. This is why it is extremely important to have the right stress coping mechanisms in conjunction with the microdosing therapy.
Trauma also gets stored at a physical level by the somatic nervous system, the part of the peripheral nervous system associated with the voluntary control of body movements via skeletal muscles. This is why people with PTSD will physically experience trauma when triggered. This is known as somatic triggered response. The source of these triggers and emotions bubble up during microdosing therapy in a gentler way than macrodosing with psychedelics. New neuro-connections are formed in the brain and the part of the brain in charge of emotional processing become suppressed so less resistance to change and less fear is one of the most common symptoms of microdosing.
Different Microdosing Protocols :
Every other Day
1 Day on and 2 Days off
2 Days per week
4 Days on, 3 Days off
In some cases Niacin and Lions Mane is taken in conjunction with micros as recommended by Paul Stamets - a famous American advocate and mycologist.
Below are some tips on microdosing.
If you have more questions or topics we should explore please write on the comments below.